web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Connection Between Yom Kippur And Sukkot

YU-091313

Every motza’ei Yom Kippur, a bat kol announces, “Go eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart, for the Lord has already accepted your deeds” (Kohellet 9:7).

Chazal explain (Midrash Rabbah, Kohellet) that this bat kol comes to inform us that HaKadosh Baruch Hu has forgiven all of our previously-committed aveiros and that a new cheshbon begins from this point. “Go eat your bread,” says the bat kol, “for your prayers have already been accepted.” From this midrash, we see that the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur.

On the other hand, we know that y’mei hadin end on Hoshanah Rabbah, a day on which more time is spent in prayer, with some staying awake all night. This leads us to ask: When do the y’mei hadin really end? At first glance we seem to be faced with a contradiction in the words of Chazal – first they tell us that the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur, and then they tell us that the y’mei hadin in fact end on Hoshanah Rabbah.

In Nechemia (8:17), the navi tells us that when the b’nei hagolah returned to Eretz Yisrael they built sukkot, “which they had not done since the days of Yehoshua bin Nun.” The Gemara in Erchin challenges this, wondering if it is really possible that they had not built sukkot since the time of Yehoshua bin Nun. Certainly in the time of David HaMelech, for instance, B’nei Yisrael built sukkot! Rather, what the pasuk means is that the b’nei hagolah had protection from the yetzer hara of avodah zara; Ezra, like none before him, requested the bittul (nullification) of this yetzer hara, which the pasuk likens to the protection of a sukkah. This leads us to our second question: How does a sukkah represent the bittul of the yetzer hara of avodah zara?

In order to understand the answers to these questions, as well as their application to us, we must ask a third question: The first time we find a sukkah in the Torah is in Parashat Vayishlach. After Yaakov and Eisav go their separate ways, the Torah tells us that Yaakov built sukkot for his livestock, and that he subsequently named that area Sukkot. Later, in Parashat Massei, the Torah mentions sukkot again, telling us that Bnei Yisrael made camp in Sukkot after leaving Raamses. The Torah is eternal, its words bearing infinite meaning for all the generations; why is it so important that we know today of Yaakov’s, and later Bnei Yisrael’s, encampment in Sukkot?

The Gemara in Berachot (4b) teaches that we must juxtapose geulah and tefillah. The Gemara challenges this ruling based on the fact that in Maariv we say Hashkiveinu between the bracha of ga’al Yisrael and the Shemoneh Esrei, interrupting between geulah and tefillah, and answers that the bracha of Hashkiveinu is considered a geulah arichta, an extension of our reference to geulah. What we are to understand from this answer is that every geulah, personal or communal, is destined to collapse if the beneficiaries don’t request shemirah for that geulah. Hashkiveinu is a geulah arichta – the shemirah of “Shomer amo Yisrael” is essential for the preservation of the geulah of “ga’al Yisrael.”

This shemirah is represented by the sukkah – a fragile structure made of cheap, flimsy wood, without a door, without a lock, without an alarm system. The sukkah makes a statement: we don’t need any external protection; HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s protection is more than enough. Indeed, in the bracha of Hashkiveinu itself we refer to the protection represented by the sukkah: “Ufros aleinu sukkat shelomecha, Spread over us the sukkah of Your peace.”

With our new understanding of the relationship between geulah and shemirah, we can now resolve the apparent contradiction in Chazal regarding the conclusion of the y’mei hadin. In reality, the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur. This end, however, is only in the sense of geulah. The geulah of motza’ei Yom Kippur is reinforced by Sukkot and Hoshanah Rabbah, when we spend more time in tefillah requesting shemirah of our positive judgment.

Yehoshua bin Nun’s conquest of Eretz Yisrael was a tremendous geulah. However, he did not ask Hashem for shemirah of this geulah. (The Gemara in fact faults him for this.) When Ezra returned to Eretz Yisrael after seventy years of galut, he requested shemirah of this geulah through a bittul of the yetzer hara of avodah zara, which protected the b’nei hagolah like a sukkah.

This principle must accompany us our entire lives: every time we merit geulah or siyata d’Shmaya we must pray for shemirah and endeavor to keep the geulah intact for as long as possible. This way we will continue to increase kavod Shamayim through all of our actions.

Inasmuch as we connect our lives to Torah as the center and the guide for all our actions, through learning, through Shabbat and the chagim, through shiurim and sichot, we guarantee that all the growth and progress we have made so far will not go to waste. Not only will be able to protect our growth, but we will even be able to reinforce our growth, and to be mekadesh shem Shamayim in all of our actions.

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Goldwicht is the Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva at YU-Affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Connection Between Yom Kippur And Sukkot

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Harvard seal, "veritas," on the side of a Harvard building.
Harvard Boycotts SodaStream (Despite Company’s Surrender)
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich

“Can you hear what the dead are whispering? Leave Galut, escape to Eretz Israel-Lech lecha!”

Ancient stone with "House of David" inscription.

The ‘homely’ ancient rock, discovered in 1993, adds evidence of King David’s existence.

Chanukah is the holiday of liberty, combining The Book (faith and dedication to God) and the sword

Yehuda knew if the moment isn’t right or men are unwilling to listen a skilled leader bides his time

This is a recurring theme in this week’s parsha, in which there are many mistakes made based on perception.

“A person should sell even the beams of his own house in order to buy shoes.”

“I do not owe anything,” Mr. Feder replied. “However, if I must come – I will.”

If Hashem is watching tzaddikim, why couldn’t He just save Yosef from all the suffering he was about to endure?

Jacob was well aware that the brothers hated Joseph, yet he sent him to them anyway.

No Fault Lines
‘…His Father And Mother Were In Prison…’
(Yevamos 71b)

The child of a Jewish mother from a union with a non-Jewish father is not a mamzer.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.
M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

And so it was that both those women whose lives had been saved in Yerushalayim only about a month earlier, were now in a Manhattan hospital with the woman who inadvertently had helped save their lives.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Goldwicht
YU-091313

This shemirah is represented by the sukkah – a fragile structure made of cheap, flimsy wood, without a door, without a lock, without an alarm system.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-connection-between-yom-kippur-and-sukkot/2013/09/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: